Air Force

SOPWITH CAMEL F1 and 2F1


Sopwith Camel #8185 Sopwith Camels #8187 (Latvian s/n 9) Sopwith Camel #7 Sopwith Camel Sopwith Camel #17

 

Sopwith Camel #9 Sopwith Camel Sopwith Camel #12 Sopwith Camel Sopwith Camel

 

Sopwith Camels Sopwith Camels #17 and #12 Wreckage of Sopwith Camel #6 Sopwith Camel #9 Sopwith Camels



Source: Gift from the British Navy

Acquired: January 11, 1920 (#s 8136, 8137, 8185, 8187), March 26, 1920 (6750, 7143, 8189)

Type: single-seater fighter

Engine: 150 hp

Dimensions
Length: 5.64 m
Wing Span: 8.54 m
Height: 2.6 m
Max Speed: 180 km/hr

Range: 450 km

Maximum Ceiling: 6,000 m

Known Serial Numbers: 6 (8137), 7 (8136), 8 (8185), 9 (8187), 16 (7143), 17 (8189), 18 (6750)

Notes

  • July 25, 1920 - Three Camels took part in the first Latvian Aviation Festival, held in Spilve, Riga.
  • Summer, 1927 - after two fatal crashes, the remaining Camels are taken out of service and written off.
  • In total, during their eight years with Latvian Aviation, the Camels had three fatal accidents.
  • # 6
    • Originally Serial # N.8137 (engine #2835)
    • This,the first of the Camels, was received on Dec.17, 1919, almost a full month before the official acceptance date (Jan.11, 1920)
    • May 2, 1920 - ltn. Skrastins has a fatal accident with this aircraft. Shortly after takeoff, at an altitude of 50m, the engine failed and the pilot tried to turn back to the airfield. He stalled and, even though the engine restarted, it was too late to prevent a violent crash. The aircraft is completely destroyed and its serial number reassigned to a Rumpler C.1.
  • # 7
    • Originally Serial # N.8136 (engine #2969)
    • April 25, 1920 - crash landing
    • 1920, July 25 - J.Prieditis flew this aircraft in the Aviation Festival at Spilve, Riga.
    • 1921, Feb.8 - On the roster of the First Aviation division.
    • 1921, June 16 - on a flight to Petersfeld the aircraft suffered a control failure over the beach near Riga. Pilot J.Prieditis set it down on the shoreline, but the plane flipped over.
  • # 8
    • Original Serial number, as with #15, is given as N.8185.   Perhaps #8 and #15 are the same aircraft, renumbered.
    • 1924 - on the roster of the Fighter Squadron.
  • # 9
    • From HMS Vindictive, left Liepaja in Nov.1919, then sent to Riga.
    • Originally Serial # N.8187 (engine #255)
    • April 13-21, 1920 - participated in the third Latgale campaign.
    • April 15, 1920 - Transfer flight from Spilve (Riga) to Rezekne. (Jakubovs)
    • April 16, 1920 - 20 minute test flight
    • April 18, 1920 - two recon flights to Osveja (Jakubovs)
    • April 25, 1920 - recon flight to Osveja (Jakubovs)
    • April 27, 1920 - recon flight, strafing of a train and a cavalry column (Jakubovs)
    • May 2, 1920 - recon flight to Sebeza (Jakubovs)
    • May 8, 1920 - 20 minute test flight
    • May 12, 1920 - recon flight, forced landing at Pitalova, then returned to Rezekne (Jakubovs)
    • May 13, 1920 - Transfer flight from Rezekne to Spilve. (Jakubovs)
    • July 2, 1920 - V.Jakubovs executes a flyover in #9 at the funeral of aviator Augusts Sparins.
    • February 8, 1921 - On the roster of the First Aviation division.
    • July 7, 1921 - After takeoff, at an altitude of only 10 metres, the engine stopped. Pilot Jakubovs makes a forced landing beyond the aerodrome, but flips the aircraft over.
    • 1924 - on the roster of the Recon Squadron.
    • 1927, August 6 - pilot Eduards Lumbergs miscalcuates while flying low aerobatics, and fatally crashes when attempting to fly under a bridge at Daugavpils.
  • # 12
  • # 15
    • Originally Serial # N.8185 (engine #37184)
    • 1921, Feb.8 - On the roster of the Aviation School.
  • # 16
    • Originally Serial # N. 7143
  • # 17
    • Originally Serial # N.8189
    • April 13-21, 1920 - participated in the third Latgale campaign.
    • May 13, 1920 - Transfer flight from Spilve (Riga) to Rezekne. (Zarins)
    • May 20, 1920 - recon flight to Osveja, Velikoje (Zarins)
    • May 24, 1920 - recon flight to Osveja, Kahanovici, Drisa (Zarins)
    • June 14, 1920 - 25 minute test flight
    • June 17, 1920 - recon and bombing flight to Ostrova, Opocka, Sebeza (Zarins)
    • June 22, 1920 - recon flight to Sebeza, Indrica, Opocka and Rozanova (Zarins)
    • July 7, 1920 - 30 minute test flight
    • July 13, 1920 - 30 minute test flight
    • July 14, 1920 - recon flight to Rusoni, Sebeza and Indrica (Zarins)
    • July 14, 1920 - Transfer flight from Rezekne to Spilve (Zarins)
    • 1921, Feb.8 - On the roster of the First Aviation division.
    • 1924 - On the roster of the Aviation School.
    • 1924, June 15 - flown (by Zarins) in the Aviation Festival at Spilve, Riga.
  • # 18
    • Originally Serial # N.6750
    • July 25, 1920 - flown (by V.Jakubovs) in the Aviation Festival at Spilve, Riga.
    • Feb 8, 1921 - On the roster of the First Aviation division.
    • July 7, 1921 - Upon takeoff, one of the u/c wheels fell away. Subsequent landing, minus one wheel, pilot Rimsa flipped the plane.
    • June 15, 1924 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
    • 1924 - on the roster of the Fighter Squadron.


Sources

- Bruvelis, Edvins Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
- Hall, Malcolm Sopwith Aviation Company
- Humberstone, Richard (ed) Latvian Air Force 1918-1940
- Irbitis, Karlis Of Struggle and Flight
- Sturtivant & Page The Camel File
- Windsock Datafile # 6 (Sopwith 2F1 Camel)

Profile courtesy of Arvo Vercamer


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